MICHAEL MARTEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MICHAEL MARTEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Algal bloom. Freshwater pond discoloured by an algal bloom. This body of water was located in Wiltshire, England. Algal blooms occur due to abnormal growth of algae, usually blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria). This growth may have natural causes such as strong sunlight, or more usually is due to surplus phosphorus or nitrogen in rivers, lakes or oceans, derived from polluting human activities such as from sewage effluent or agriculture. Some of these algae liberate toxins harmful to fish, aquatic birds and humans. Algal blooms may also cause eutrophication (oxygen depletion) in bodies of water resulting in large scale death of animal and plant species.
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